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How To Figure Out If Your Child Needs Dental Braces

Published: Jan 09, 2023 Last Updated: Dec 13, 2023
a little girl who may need braces

Dental braces are an appliance used by the orthodontists to straighten crooked or misaligned teeth and correct many dental anomalies in their patients including oral conditions, and also for cosmetic purposes. It is widely used all over the world, with millions of people in the USA getting benefitted by it.

Since there are many conditions for which braces are used, it is important to know the conditions for which braces are can be the best option.

Indications leading to need for braces

The following conditions indicate that your child needs braces. If you note any of these conditions, then you must see your dentist and ask for an appointment with the orthodontist.

Temporary teeth not falling out

When you observe that your baby does not lose the deciduous teeth on time, (when temporary teeth do not fall out), the space for the permanent teeth to erupt is less. In this case, they are delayed. And lack of space may result in crooked or crowded teeth also.

Thumb sucking

When your child has a habit of thumb sucking. Thumb sucking pushes the jawline outward. Both upper and lower jaws get pushed out and the teeth also protrude. You may have to wait till all the teeth are erupted and then according to your dentist’s suggestion you must consult the orthodontist and consider braces for your child to get the teeth straightened.

Delay of permanent teeth

When permanent teeth are delayed in your child, it could be because of dental tissues obstructing the path of teeth, or it could be an issue of lack of space on the jaw for the tooth to erupt. In this situation the permanent teeth have to fight for the space that is available and end up getting crooked and out of place. It also makes the teeth crowded. Crowded or crooked teeth affects the smile of the child, affecting self-confidence of the child.

Misaligned teeth

When your child has teeth that are misaligned. For proper chewing it is important for the upper teeth to sit on the lower teeth in proper alignment. When the lower teeth are inside of the teeth on upper jaw, your upper teeth will fall a little outside of your lower teeth. This situation is called over bite. When upper teeth fall inside of the lower teeth, it is called underbite. This condition creates difficulty in chewing the food properly and leads to dental issues. Braces can solve this problem very efficiently.

Difficulty eating food

When you notice that the child has difficulty in chewing food, and it is an effort to finish a given portion of food for him. There are many reasons for difficulty in chewing but one of which could be misaligned jaws. When jaws are not aligned one on top of the other, the food does not grind properly, and the child takes long to reach the desired consistence of the food so that it be swallowed. This is one of the conditions that should prompt you to favour the decision for the braces for your child.

Proportions of teeth and jaw

When you notice that jaws and teeth are out of proportion with the rest of the face. Sometimes the jaw may protrude, or the teeth may be very big in such a way that they look out of proportion. In this case your orthodontist can look into the situation and may suggest braces as a treatment.

Cheek biting

When biting inside of your child’s cheek occurs regularly. Sometimes we accidentally bite our inner cheek, which incidentally is very painful. And many times, if you bite your cheek once, it may swell and again will come in the way of chewing. This is a normal situation, happening to all of us when we bite into a very big chunk of food or when very hard food which is difficult to breakdown inside the cavity of the mouth. But when, your child complains of biting the cheek, or tongue very frequently, then it is a cause for concern and you must see your orthodontist to see whether the molars have grown to be misaligned and causing the discomfort.

Jaws shifting

When jaws are shifting or make a sound while eating, it is a problem of dental tissues getting into the way of jaws and teeth. This is not very common, but sometimes it happens and it is better to ask your dentist what to do. If braces are suggested, then opt for it. Braces will realign the teeth and the problem of shifting jaws will get corrected with properly aligned teeth.

Mouth breathing

When your child’s breathing takes place with mouth very often, then consider looking into the issue. Breathing with the mouth may be because of a problem with the teeth.

Speech problems

There can be many reasons for speech problems in children. Malocclusion can be one of them. The sounds produced in the mouth make use of the teeth also. Pronunciation is a teamwork of tongue and teeth along with other muscles in the mouth, including lips. When teeth are not aligned properly, the air escapes from within the teeth and the sound does not come out as it should. Misalignment makes certain sounds difficult to make and create a slur. This situation makes them self-conscious and may affect their self-concept. Uses of braces is an option to correct this.

It is very important to introduce child to the dentist and the dentist’s chair early enough so that the dental and oral care of the child is very well monitored. When the teeth erupt for the first time, till the child gets all the temporary teeth, it is advisable to visit your dentist frequently, so that he knows how the teeth are developing and can take steps if he thinks intervention is necessary.

When the dentist sees the need, he or she will ask you to contact the orthodontist who is the trained person to decide on the need of braces. Your dentist will suggest a paediatric orthodontist if he sees the need. Braces can correct many conditions including bad bites and speech problems.

MP Orthodontics is an orthodontic practice based in Cheltenham, Melbourne. Working from the belief that orthodontic treatment is much more than working with teeth and creating smiles, treating orthodontists – Dr Martin Poon and Dr Geoff Hall – approach patients as people first. Their approach is to work together and plan and implement treatment that meets each individual’s needs. Drawing on 30 plus years experience of helping children gain confidence through tailored treatment, MP Orthodontics, is a truly unique orthodontic practice.

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